Workmen Compensation

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The Workmen Compensation Act, of 1923 provides for the payment of compensation to workmen and their dependents in case the workmen get injured or die in workplace accidents or contract an occupational illness during the course of employment. As per the provisions of the Act, the employer is liable to pay compensation to the workmen and their dependents for the losses suffered. 

Workmen compensation insurance policy is an affordable way for employers to avail protection against these statutory liabilities. The Workmen Compensation Act also makes it mandatory for employers to have more than 20 employees or workers, specifically in manufacturing units, construction firms, building developers, factories, mining firms, and transport undertakings, etc in order to safeguard both employees and employers.

An employee in an organization’s workmen compensation policy is entitled to receive compensation for any work-related injuries or illnesses that they may suffer during the course of their employment. This may include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and disability benefits. The policy is designed to protect employees and ensure that they are fairly compensated for any injuries or illnesses that they may suffer while on the job. It also provides a safety net for employers, as it limits their liability for workplace injuries and helps them avoid costly lawsuits.

In case, your employer has employed fewer employees and has not been mandated to avail workmen compensation insurance, the employer is still responsible for the workplace injuries suffered by employees. In case the compensation is not funded through the workmen’s compensation insurance policy, the employer needs to fund it from his own pocket. 

The Workmen’s Compensation Act applies to all establishments that employ workmen, regardless of the number of employees. However, the Act does provide for some exemptions for certain types of workers and industries.

Additional Read: How to Calculate a Settlement in a Workman’s Compensation Injury?

Let’s take an example to understand the case.

Employee suffers a workplace injury and the employer has no workmen compensation insurance to pay the benefits, what would be the course of action?

Let’s assume a worker of an interior design firm visited a client’s place for maintenance work. While performing his work, he fell off the ladder and fractured his right hand’s wrist. The doctor advised him to undergo surgery for which he had to take several weeks off from work and this also ensured additional medical costs. The worker now approached his employer for workmen’s compensation benefits. At that time his employer had not enrolled in a workmen’s compensation insurance policy. How would the worker get his compensation? Could he approach the court against his employer?

In this case, the worker has an absolute right to receive his workmen’s compensation benefits for losses suffered. The first thing the worker needs to do is to approach the worker compensation board for claiming workmen’s compensation benefits. A worker compensation claim involves certain administrative processes.

In this process, if the worker fails to receive the desired workmen’s compensation benefits, he can approach the court of law and claim his benefits from the employer through a legal route. An employer can be sued for not applying for workmen compensation if an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness and the employer fails to provide compensation. The worker can seek the help of a workmen’s compensation attorney who will guide him through the entire legal process.

Can employers get sued?

Additional Read: What are the Employer’s Duties Under Worker Compensation Insurance at the time of loss?

Despite not having a workmen compensation policy, the employer is still liable to compensate for workplace injuries on a self-funding basis. It is important to note that an employee can sue the employer only for the losses caused to him due to employment and denial of workmen compensation payment.